Tag Archive | "apple iphone 3gs"

Interesting Flickr Data Shows iPhone Upgrade Trends

As Chippy pointed at his personal blog, it’s possible to search Flickr for pictures taken by particular cameras. By analyzing EXIF data, flickr is able to keep detailed data for all the cameras that are used for snapping photos that end up on the site. Flickr has a neat page that has stats for all of their photos and the cameras that they were taken with.

Looking at the stats for iPhones shows some interesting trends:

flickr iphone graph *For clarity’s sake, I’ll refer to the iPhone 3GS as the iPhone 3G[S] so that it won’t be confused with the plural of the iPhone 3G (iPhone 3Gs)

This isn’t the most detailed graph, but I think we can make some educated guesses about what’s going on here.

You can see that the iPhone 3G is the most used camera out of these three, and in fact, you may find it interesting to note that it’s the most popular of all cameras used on flickr (see: http://www.flickr.com/cameras/, this is probably due to a combination of the iPhone 3G’s popularity and the fact that there is a Flickr app in the app store. Traditional cameras naturally can’t upload without going through a computer).

You might also wonder why the iPhone 3G appears to be so much more popular than the more recently released iPhone 3G[S]. I think this has a lot to do with the AT&T contract. Lots of people went out to buy the iPhone 3G because it was much more affordable than the original iPhone and had improved features. Many of these people signed up for new, or re-upped, a two-year contract. When the iPhone 3G[S] was released about a year later, most people weren’t eligible for upgrade pricing.

Now you’ll see the correlation between the dip at the end of the iPhone 3G line and the peak at the end of the iPhone 4 line. iPhone 3G users who purchased the iPhone 3G when it was released are now eligible for upgrade pricing on the iPhone 4. And if we’re looking at this correctly, it looks like people are upgrading from the iPhone 3G to the iPhone 4 at a very regular rate. The iPhone 4 line also shows us something about the availability of the device. You’ll notice that there is only a slight upward trend as the iPhone 4 line lifts off the x-axis, then it suddenly starts to jump upward. This could represent the initial release of pre-order devices, then the availability of new stock.

So what about the iPhone 3G[S]? What’s with that lazy curve it’s got going on? It’s hard to say exactly as the graph doesn’t have a proper timeline, but the dropping end of the line may be cause by Gizmodo’s early iPhone 4 reveal. They got their hands on the iPhone 4 hardware far before the phone was released, and the ensuing drama was covered by major news outlets across the US and even further. People knew in advance that the iPhone 4 was coming and this likely hurt the sales of the iPhone 3G[S].

I’ll be interested to continue watching these charts. If the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3G lines ever cross, I think it’ll be pretty conclusive that lots of people are upgrading.

Agree with me? Have a better analysis? Feel free to let us know in the comments!

iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 3GS Camera Test, Video and Photos

cam In the keynote that announced the iPhone 4 [Portal page], Steve Jobs told the world that the iPhone 4 features a 5MP camera. A decent bump from the previous iPhone 3GS’s 3.2MP camera, but still a far cry from some of the latest phones out there which are rocking 8MP cameras (see: HTC Incredible). Jobs was quick to also say that the iPhone 4 uses something called a back-illuminated sensor which is designed to capture more light than traditional smartphone sensors, to enhance low light performance. The iPhone 4 is also capable of recording HD video at 720p (1280×720) at 30 FPS, according to Apple.

Here I’ve got some comparison photos and videos from the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS cameras:

Video Recording

At the end of the video there is a link to the same video taken with the iPhone 3GS. Make sure you are watching in HD.

Real HD video and flash (YouTube) HD video are a bit different. The raw file is certainly of a better quality than what YouTube is showing, but you should still be able to get the gist of it.


I’ve taken a variety of shots with the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS. Be sure to click on photos to enlarge them for full detail. The iPhone 4’s flash is turned off in all photos. The iPhone 4 takes photos at a resolution of 2592×1936 while the iPhone 3GS takes them at 2048×1536.

General Use

iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS

Close Ups

iPhone 4iPhone 3GS iPhone 4iPhone 3GS iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS

Extreme Close Ups

iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS

Low Light

iPhone 4 iPhone 3GSiPhone 4 iPhone 3GS

Extreme Low Light

iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS iPhone 4 iPhone 3GS

For one, it looks like the iPhone 4 has better contrast than the 3GS. This is particularly apparent in shots of the pen, where there is a more broad range of blacks and whites in the iPhone 4 shot; on the corresponding 3GS shot, you’ll notice that the darkest black on the photo appears to cover more area instead of fading through a series of shades as the light and colors change.

Probably the best picture to see the difference in resolution is of the belt in the Close Ups section. This was semi-dark shot and the iPhone 3GS’s photo suffered because of it.

Special back-illuminated sensors are great, but just how much better is the low light performance on the iPhone 4? I might be able to dig up a technical answer, but let’s look at what it means in real world terms. Take a look at the first two photos in the Extreme Low Light section. On the iPhone 4 shot, you can see the lilies toward the bottom of the pond a bit better than the 3GS shot. Additionally, the pond’s surface is not as noisy in the iPhone 4 shot as it is in the 3GS’s, due to the enhanced low light performance.

Is this really a significant improvement? I would put my money on the fact that the majority of iPhone 4 users will not notice the difference between the iPhone 4 and iPhone 3GS cameras when it comes to photographs. Most user’s photos will either stay on the device, or be uploaded or sent somewhere at reduced quality. But for those who really use their camera, I think they’ll be quite please with the iPhone 4’s camera. On the other hand, the HD video recording capability on the iPhone 4 is a pretty clear improvement. The flash is also something to consider, though because the iPhone 3GS doesn’t have one, we didn’t use it in these shots (if you are interested in flash info, you’ll find it in our upcoming full iPhone 4 review).

iPhone 4 vs. iPhone 3GS Speed Test [updated: working video]

101_0676 Here’s a quick look at the iPhone 4 and the iPhone 3GS facing off head to head. I didn’t cover too much stuff in this video, so if there are more comparisons that you’d like to see, speak up in the comments, and do it soon; the iPhone 3GS is going away (far away) very soon.

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